The remarkable career of Duran Duran is much like a force of nature. It may wax and wane but when all is said and done, it remains. Unshakeable. This album does not feature the classic line-up (shocking isn't it) as Andy Taylor left the band (again) but the four who remain have crafted a remarkable release. It is exactly that by virtue of being comprised of a Duran Duran you have never heard before. Much has been made of Justin Timberlake's involvement for some of "Red Carpet Massacre" and to that I say, so what. His co-writing of the lead single "Falling Down" does not harm their creative process in any shape or form. Indeed, this is one of the band's best cuts ever. Never mind the video, which is brilliant... even ace.

One thing I always expect from Duran Duran is an incorporation of differing styles and sweet jesus does this album pack them in. If they do not rule the charts permanently because of this new one there is something decidedly wrong with the world.

Take a song like "She's Too Much" with it's killer chorus, vicious hooks. You go right on and try not to capitulate to it's sensuous slinky feel. Duran Duran have wisely realised, at last, that the guitar is an instrument to add shading and texture. Hence Andy's not being involved, there would be no place for his approach on "Red Carpet Massacre". At last, nearly 30 years into it, Simon, Nick, John and Roger have embraced the fact that they are, if nothing else, the impressarios of glam'n'groove in this day and age. John's bass is given a lot more room to shine and Nick's keyboards are soaringly definitive. Simon's vocals meld right in there like slipping into a warm bath and Roger's input is impressively forceful. It does not have the classic touches but you know it's him and to a larger degree you know it's them even without glancing up once to check.

Now for you who require a bit more convincing here's a simpler argument for the stunning breakout of convention which "Red Carpet Massacre" is: it is "Notorious" meets "The Wedding Album" with a healthy dose of "Night Versions". You have been warned. And for the first time in ages, they have done an instrumental album track! If you want something to smack the bad taste of what rules the airwaves out of your mouth then this is it. Amazingly vital. Gonna make some cash with that avatar indeed. I'd have expected a less daring approach but rather than give me what I predicted, the Rum Runner's golden sons have gone where they've never been before into a land only they know the rules for.